Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Snippets from Froomkin

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I always read Froomkin’s column, and today’s column has two particularly interesting snippets:

Michael Isikoff and Tony Hopfinger write for Newsweek: “A two-year-old letter by Vice President Dick Cheney that pushed a controversial Alaska natural-gas pipeline bill is getting renewed scrutiny because of recently disclosed evidence in the Justice Department’s corruption case against Sen. Ted Stevens. In a conversation secretly tape-recorded by the FBI on June 25, 2006, Stevens discussed ways to get a pipeline bill through the Alaska Legislature with Bill Allen, an oil-services executive accused of providing the senator with about $250,000 in undisclosed financial benefits. According to a Justice motion, Stevens told Allen, ‘I’m gonna try to see if I can get some bigwigs from back here and say, ‘Look . . . you gotta get this done’.’ Two days later, Cheney wrote a letter to the Alaska Legislature urging members to ‘promptly enact’ a bill to build the pipeline. The letter was considered unusual because the White House rarely contacts state lawmakers about pending legislative matters. It also angered state Democrats, who accused Cheney of pushing oil-company interests. The former executive director of Cheney’s energy task force had gone to work as a lobbyist for British Petroleum, one of three firms slated to build the pipeline.

“Stevens confirmed to Newsweek last week that he asked Cheney to write the letter. ‘We wanted the federal government to tell the state to act quickly on it,’ he said. (A spokesman for Alaska’s other senator, Lisa Murkowski, said her office also had contacts with Cheney’s office.) A Cheney spokeswoman said his office does not comment on pending legal matters.

And this—Bush is incredibly stupid to halt progress toward nuclear safety to make a political point. I understand that he doesn’t like Russia’s invasion of Georgia—I don’t like it myself—but he did create a precedent in his invasion of Iraq, and saying that sovereign nations should not invade other sovereign nations sounds extremely out of place on the lips of Bush and those who supported the Iraq war. Anyway, here’s what he’s done now:

Daniel Dombey writes in the Financial Times: “The Bush administration is set to put a high-profile nuclear deal with Russia on hold, according to US diplomats.

“Officials expect Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, to recommend that George W. Bush, president, recall the civil nuclear co-operation agreement from Congress in the wake of Russia’s conflict with Georgia. . . .

“The move to put the nuclear agreement on ice would darken prospects for bilateral co-operation between the two countries in the area of nuclear safety.”

Do you feel safer now?

Written by Leisureguy

25 August 2008 at 11:53 am

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